Audio-sharing platform SoundCloud is reportedly in talks with major music labels that could lead to the labels gaining equity in the service. SoundCloud is likely making this move to avoid copyright lawsuits on behalf of the music labels. In recent months, big music labels like Universal have been sending an increasing amount of takedown requests to SoundCloud users that had uploaded unlicensed songs (or songs with unlicensed samples) to the site. It looks like SoundCloud may be making this deal instead of dealing with potentially costly legal entanglements.
Since its inception, SoundCloud has been popular with music makers. The service also has a growing number of podcasters using its beta program for media hosting. If this equity-sharing deal goes thru, it’s hard to say how this will impact podcasters who distribute thru SoundCloud. But if you’re considering making SoundCloud your primary media host, you may want to hold off until this deal is worked out (if not until the media-hosting program actually comes out of its three-year long beta).
SoundCloud is unique in its position as a platform for both music and podcasts. Over the years, the music industry has gone after many online entities in its endless war on piracy. First, it was file-sharing platforms, then music blogs and YouTube. And now it looks like SoundCloud is the next big target. Whatever may come of this deal, let’s hope that podcasters who rely on SoundCloud for distribution won’t get caught in the crossfire.
Posted by Shawn Thorpe